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November 5th, 2008

Major Victory for Women’s Health and Human Rights

New York - Today the Center for Reproductive Rights celebrated the failure of the South Dakota abortion ban ballot initiative, which would have forced women in that state to carry pregnancies to term against their will at the risk of their physical and psychological health. For the second time in two years, South Dakotans have resoundingly rejected a measure that would have prohibited nearly all abortions in the state. 


“The stakes were high not only for women and families in South Dakota , but for women throughout the country,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “There is no doubt that backers of the South Dakota abortion ban had their sights on the U.S. Supreme Court and overturning Roe v. Wade. This sends an unambiguous message to our elected officials that our government should not interfere with personal and private decisions about our health and families.”


Meanwhile, voters in Colorado overwhelmingly rejected another ballot measures that threatened women’s reproductive rights.


“Fortunately, voters in Colorado have made it clear that they put the health, safety and privacy of the women in their state first, above abortion politics,” said Northup.  “Proponents of both of these measures would be wise to follow the electorate’s wishes and put these issues to rest.”


Colorado Ballot Measure Number 48, a proposed amendment to Colorado ’s constitution, was designed to criminalize abortion and outlaw contraception. Voters refused to define a fertilized egg as a person by granting constitutional rights from the “moment of fertilization,” an expanded definition of person that would have been the most extreme constitutional amendment of its kind anywhere in the United States .   


In California , the battle over a parental notification ballot initiative was too close to call.  The measure will endanger the health and safety of pregnant teenagers. It forces many teens to notify their parents before seeking an abortion. Teens who can’t go to their parents feel trapped and desperate, the Center said.

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